HC Deb 07 April 1892 vol 3 cc858-9

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for the Colonies what are the amounts of royalties now charged upon the production of gold and silver in each of the Australian Colonies respectively; what is the charge to individual miners for miners' rights to work for gold and silver in each of such Colonies; has the legal estate of the Crown been assigned to or abrogated in favour of the various Colonial Governments, or has merely the control and management of the Mines Royal of the Crown been assigned to them; does the Crown derive any royalties or other direct pecuniary advantages from the production of gold and silver in the Colonies referred to, and, if so, what sum is being paid yearly; and, if the Crown has any rights by virtue of its prerogative in the Australian Colonies, why are they not insisted upon as in the cases of Wales and Ireland?


Royalties are not charged in the Australian Colonies upon the production of gold and silver, but a miner's right is granted for a yearly fee of from 5s. to 10s., and leases of auriferous lands are given at a yearly rental per acre of from. 5s. to 20s. The hon. Member will find full particulars in the Acts of the several Australian Colonies relating to gold mining, which he can see either in the Library of the House or at the Colonial Office. The hon. Member does not distinguish in the last part of his question between the rights of the Crown in this country and its rights in the Colonies. The waste lands in the Colonies belong to the Crown, but the Colonial Legislatures have been empowered to make laws regulating the sale and disposal of them, and the provisions to which I have referred are contained in the laws passed under his authority. The fees and rentals collected on behalf of the Crown are appropriated to the service of Her Majesty in the several Colonies.